Prevent Blindness Throughout Your Lifetime

Development of blindness can be invented. Individuals who are perfectly healthy now can at any time lose his or her sense of sight as part of the aging process. Disorders of the eyes can also lead to blindness of left untreated. Therefore, regardless of your present health status, it is also very important to know the proper measures on how to keep the eyes healthy and the proper way of preventing blindness in all stages of the aging process.

If you are a parent, you should be informed that kids also need protection since there are no immunizations that are yet available to prevent blindness. However, there are many different ways that parents can do to make sure that their child is well-protected from harmful agents that can cause vision problems leading to blindness.

Children are usually very active little drinks. And part of being active is spending more time outdoors playing. Parents should make sure that children have enough eye protection against the harmful rays of the sun. The ultraviolet (UV) rays coming from the sun can easily damage young and developing eyes of children, so it is important that they wear large-brimmed sunglasses that are of good quality and are designed to block UV rays to enter the eyes. By providing kids with a healthy diet rich in vitamin A coming from fruits and vegetables can also be a very good way of strengthening the eyes against potential diseases such as diabetes and also other eye conditions and infections. Also linked to glaucoma and macular degeneration is obesity. By letting children adapt healthy eating habits through their lifetime promotes good health and better eye protection as well.

For teens and adults, one best way to prevent an increased risk for blindness is by ceasing smoking habits. It has been said that individuals who are smokers have a greater risk in developing macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract and all other conditions like diabetes that can lead to loss of vision if left untreated. Good maintenance of blood pressure is also a good way to keep the eyes healthy. And with regular exercise, the body can be maintained at the most ideal condition including the eyesight. Overweight individuals tend to develop diabetes and high blood pressure which can be a dangerous concoction that can result in deterioration of vision.

For all ages, another thing that should be avoided is accidents. Eye injuries and traumas caused by contact sports and other foreign objects and chemicals can have serious consequences and blindness is one of them. It is best to wear a protective eye wear like eye goggles to protect the eyes from objects and chemicals that can potentially damage or injure the eye's structure and integrity.

If you want to learn more about protective eye wears, proper eye health, including eye care, you can make an appointment with an Austin eye doctor. A professional's help is what you need to better understand the nature, causes, treatment and prevention of blindness.

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Common Issues Associated With Reading Glasses

With the numerous complaints that consumers associate with glasses, it is logical that a huge number of eye glass wearers are opting for surgery to correct eye sight. These methods presents patients with an excellent way to repair vision problems. Crystalens is a well known method that offers patients with cataracts, or those that have to wear glasses, the opportunity to replace their natural lens with a permanent implant, so that there is no requirement for both distance and reading glasses.

Destruction to the Reading Glasses

Glasses can easily be damaged and must be taken care of. Even if you are careful, they may still become scratched or cracked. The constant stress and worry thatcompanies looking after glasses means that many people find them to be undesirable, which is the reason many people see surgery as the more convenient choice.

Preservation to the Reading Glasses

Another complaint about eyeglasses is the nonstop maintenance required. The time taken to adjust the various components of the glasses, is wearisome. Another problem is that users need to take the time to obtain the necessary tools to perform the repairs, as well as buy the parts, which can be an issue. Wearers will have more free time by correcting the eye problem that requires them to wear reading glasses.

Costs Connected with Needing Reading Glasses

In order to obtain a new pair of glasses, the patient will need to pay for both frames and lenses. The cost of this can amount to a large sum of money. An eye doctor exam should also attend to get the most suitable prescription. These expenses can add up quickly and can be too costly for people that live on a limited income. Sometimes, eyeglass wearers will push off purchasing new glasses and will wear old prescription glasses to stop costs such as these, which could impact both vision and quality of life.

The Way the Reading Glasses Fit

Due to budget constraints, a lot of people often purchase a low cost pair of glasses that do not complement their features very well. Some designs may not fit impeccably, unless the patient is having them custom made, which may prove to be very expensive. Even with a great fit, eyeglasses sometimes adversely affect a wearer's attractiveness. Corrective surgery can help patients to reclaim their self-confidence and project themselves as the person they would like to be, rather than the person glasses made them.

The Eyesight Obtained with the Reading Glasses

A lack of peripheral vision is among many eyeglass complaints, due to the fact that objects can not be seen clearly when they are located at the side of the wearer. If a small set of frames is being used, vision quality is further affected, due to the small surface area of ​​the lenses. Surgery can offer a complete 180-degree view of the patient's surroundings.

The Heaviness of the Glasses

Glasses tend to be on the heavy side, which can leave an unwanted impression on the skin. After being worn all day, the area around the nose can be irritated and unattractive. In addition, unwanted marks and lines may form on the bridge of your nose. These are the disadvantages of wearing glasses that could affect the way you look and may age your face.

Glasses can pose a lot of problems that detract from the good points of wearing glasses. Your doctor can let you know if you are a qualified candidate for Crystalens or LASIK corrective surgery, for eye conditions such as astigmatism, farsightedness and nearsightedness.

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Common Eye Conditions You Need to Know

One of the most common eye conditions are the eye allergies, pink eye, twitching, broken blood vessels, and spots and floaters. These conditions are generally easy to treat and manage once you have your eye doctor to take a closer look into it.

With the start of spring and fall, many of us suffer from seasonal eye allergies which are known to be very irritating and annoying. Eye allergies can also occur out of season with the presence of an allergen such as when molds or dusts have come in contact with our sensitive eyes. If this occurs, the it may become puffy, sore, burning, watery, and red. It is important to stay away from potential allergens to prevent these symptoms to develop. To know more about your potential allergens, you have to make a visit to your eye doctor for some tests.

Sore eyes or what we call a pink eye, is one of the most common type of problems for most children than adults. The white section known as sclera, appears pink or red and become watery, itchy and sore. It is also one of the most common forms of an inflammation called conjunctivitis which is known to be highly contagious if caused by a virus or bacteria.

If you see some red spots appearing in your sclera, then this is suggestive of ruptured blood vessels. Too much training and / or rubbing of the eyes can cause the blood vessels in the eyes to rupture. This condition can be a very disturbing sight for other people to see. However, ruptured blood vessels are rather harmless and can heal within a few days with adequate rest and proper nutrition.

Eye twitching is another common type of condition that affects and is very annoying. Most eye twitching are usually harmless and can pass rather quite quicklyly. This can be linked with sore eyes, anxiety, fatigue, too much intake of caffeine, stress, and also tourette syndrome. Persons who experience these needs to see an doctor on how to avoid and manage this annoying condition.

Generally, spots and floaters in the eye can be quite normal can occur all through our lifetime each time we rub our eyes due to presence of foreign body. These spots and floaters that we see are best noticed when we look at lighter background such as the white wall or the sky. Although most of these spots and floaters are harmless, this can also be a signal of a detached retina. If you happen to see these floaters and spots which appear to be cloudy accompanied by light flashes, then a professional's help is needed.

In summary, if you are suffering from any of the above-mentioned eye conditions, it is very critical that you visit an Austin eye doctor immediately for better treatment.

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Get That 20/20 Vision With Orthokeratology

Orthokeratology is termed for the process of reshaping the eyes with the aid of a specially-designed gas permeable (GP) or rigid gas gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses. Orthokeratology aims to flatten the eye's front surface which is the cornea to correct mild to moderate refractive errors such as astigmatism and nearsightedness.

The gas permeable lenses are specifically-designed to gently reshape cornea during sleep correcting vision allowing the wearer to see clearly without the aid of glasses and contact lenses at daytime. However, the effect of orthokeratology is temporary, usually just enough to get the person through the entire one to two days. Therefore, the GP lenses for orthokeratology should be worn every night at bedtime so maintain a clear vision during the entire day.

Generally, orthokeratology or ortho-k is a very good option for persons who suffer nearsightedness that are not old enough to be a candidate for LASIK surgery. And since ortho-k is safe to be discontinued anytime the individual chooses to stop, anyone with healthy eyes can try this procedure without causing permanent changes to the shape of the eyes. Ortho-k is ideal for persons who play sports or who work in an unhygienic environment making contact lens wearing difficult.

The ortho-k procedure aims to correct vision to 20/20 without the need the person to wear eyeglasses and contact lenses during the entire day. The rate of success of this procedure is higher for those with mild prescriptions.

The full effect of ortho-k can be made after several weeks, however, an improvement in vision can be appreciated after a day or two of GP lens wearing for ortho-k. During the first few weeks of ortho-k, the person may not have clear vision as what glasses and contacts provide. The person may experience seeing glares and halos around lights until the full effect of ortho-k is achieved. When this happens, the person may need to wear temporary eyeglasses when driving at night. On its comfort side, since ortho-k gas permeable lenses are worn at night during sleep, most individuals generally feel comfortable without any reports of a problem associated with lens wearing.

Since ortho-k is a significantly longer process than any regular contacts fitting, it may be cost more compared to regular contact lenses. Series of visits to the optometrist is required to try multiple pairs of lenses.

You may visit your eye doctor Austin for more ortho-k information which can be necessary to help you decide whether to opt for this procedure in the near future.

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Prescription Sunglasses Can Offer Superior Eye Protection

Taking care of your eyes is a very important and necessary task. Many people purchase prescription glasses, but they forget about the importance of protection from being in the sun. You can buy Prescription Sunglasses that can be fitted to many designer brand frames. These special lenses can offer you the protection you need while you are in the sun.

By having prescription sunglasses, you will not have to worry about any magnetic attachment pieces or trying to keep track of the additional parts. Driving down the street and fumbling around in the car for the part that attaches to your glasses can be dangerous. Having prescription sunglasses ensures that you will always be prepared when the sun comes out.

These types of glasses provide 100% UV protection. Regardless of the color of the lenses, you need to make sure that the lenses you are purchasing can provide complete UV protection so that your eyes are protected in any kind of sunlight. You can also find polarized sunglasses if you are looking to have added glare protection.

Prescription sunglasses are perfect for a day at the beach. Weaning contacts can be dangerous as the water can contaminate them and lead to all kinds of eye infections. It can also be irritating to have the sun, sand, and wind, blowing in your dry eyes. By purchasing prescription sunglasses, you can be assured of a more comfortable time at the beach.

It used to be that people dreaded wearing any type of glasses because there were not very many styles available. These days, you can find designer frames and all kinds of beautiful frames to choose from. You can have the prescription lenses that are for the sun fitted to your designer frames of choice.

Contacts can make your eyes dry and itchy. If you are looking for a convenient way to keep your eyes protected, this is a great product for you. It is important to make sure that your eyes receive proper care so that they can last you for your life-time. Prescription sunglasses can offer you the level of care you need.

Prescription sunglasses can offer you the protection you need when you are out in the sun. Driving in the sun or with any kind of a glare can be dangerous. It is important that you have the right glasses on at all times. With this product, you do not have to worry about fumbling around to find the magnetic snap-on lenses. This product is affordable and convenient offering you the protection you need, when you want it.

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Kids and Computer Use – Risks and Problems

Today, computer plays an important role among children's lives. Because it functions in many different ways, computers are now becoming a part of kids' routine such as doing homework, surfing the internet, chat online with friends, and of course playing of video games. Children that are on their school age have greater computer exposure from their own homes to schools and malls. And since the advent of different kinds of highly entertaining computer video games, kids begin to start using computer games at a younger age.

Comparing to reading a magazine or a book, computer use can greatly cause stress to the eyes since it requires the individual to maintain focus on images that is generated by computer screens than on printed pages. For young children whose visual system is not yet fully developed, a prolonged computer use can easily stress the eyes.

Children who are more absorbed with computer use have greater tension to develop computer-related vision problems for many different reasons. First of all, children have a very limited degree for self-awareness. Children would tend to spend a more time in front of the computer for hours and hours with little or no break just to finish a certain task. This overuse of computer without breaks can cause eyestrain and eye focusing problems. Another reason is that children usually would rather gather anything that they see and how they have seen it are normal without realizing that their vision is slowly deteriorating or causing impairments. And since children are probably smaller in size than adults, most computer workstations are often designed for adult use. This arrangement requires children to sit nearer the computer screen or adopting odd postures that can place them at risk for shoulder, neck, and back pains and also eyestrain.

So before school starts, parents should make sure that their kids have undergone comprehensive eye examination which includes near-point vision skills. Also, parents and teachers should make sure that computer workstations are arranged to work for their kid's body size. There should be a reasonable distance of 18-28 inches between the eyes and the monitor to avoid risks of eyestrain and muscle pains due to closer viewing of computer screen. More importantly, parents and teachers should be aware of signs and symptoms of vision problems which cause redness of the eyes, rubbing of eyes frequently, head turning, complaints of blurriness, fatigue, and odd postures. Another indication of possible vision problems among children is the avoidance to school work that requires the use of computers.

If you notice that your child is developing problems with vision related to computer use, it is very important to inform the eye doctor in Austin during your child's appointment so that specific tests can be done to properly identify specific vision problems.

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Important Visual Skills That Your Child Needs

Having an excellent vision is very important for learning, especially for young children. Since children start to learn using visual materials, they need to have sharper vision. As parents, you have to make sure that your child lasts a good vision of 20/20 and that any case of hyperopia, myopia or astigmatism is corrected with the help of an eye doctor since this is necessary to improve your child's visual skills. These corrective devices may be in the form of eyeglasses or contact lenses.

However, a 20/20 vision does not completely define a good vision. There are still other factors that can affect a child's learning ability as well as the above mentioned refractive errors. A child with a 20/20 vision may have other learning-related vision problems that can hinder good performance in school and other learning activities.

Since the visual acuity test is just one way of assessing a child's visual capacity, there are still other more important ways to evaluate good vision. In fact, there are kids who have nearsightedness who excel very well in school by reading on books but shows problems when asked to read the class board. In addition, in order to attain good learning, a child needs to have visual skills such as eye movement, eye focusing, eye teaming, binocular vision, visual perceptual, and integrated visual-motor skills.

Skills in eye movement is very important so that the child can accurately and smoothly move his or her eyes across the textbook pages that needs to be learned. Abilities in eye focusing is another important visual skill to allow the child to have the eyes change focus from far to near and near topecially especially when asked to copy the needed information written in the blackboard to his notebook. Next important skill is the teaming of the eyes. This skill enables both eyes to work together just like a team which is helpful in reading learning materials.

A binocular vision, is a skill that allows the eyes of the child to combine formed visual images by both eyes to form one single image with 3 dimensions. The visual perceptual skill can also help the child understand and identify what he or she is seeing, thus can make vital judgment and association with visual information previously stored in the brain. And lastly, the visual-motor integration skill provides the child with good eye-hand coordination which is very crucial in copying written information on the board and books with legitimate handwriting. This skill is also very important when a child plays various sports.

Any presence of deficiency of any of the above-mentioned visual skills can greatly affect the learning ability of a child including performance in schoolwork and activities. To avoid any of these shortcomings, it is important to have your child checked by your local Austin optometrist so that proper steps to prevent learning problems.

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Kids and Contact Lens Wearing

One concern that parents have been asking is whether their kids are old enough for contact lens wearing. The fact is, a child can surprisingly tolerate wearing contact lenses starting at a very young age. Moreover, there are babies that have eye conditions that are being fitted with these lenses and have shown to tolerate them well. Also, a number of young children with nearsightedness that are fitted with these show no trouble in applying and removing their contact without having their parents assist them. In fact, contact lenses are very helpful to children in many different ways.

Children can become mature enough to wear contacts if they show enough responsibility at home and school. A child that is mature enough to do self-care is fairly ready for contact lenses. However, if a child shows poor-grooming habits that need frequent reminders from parents it can indicate that this child is not yet ready for the responsibility of taking care of their contact lenses. To avoid complications associated with contacts wearing, a child, regardless of his or her age, needs to be responsible enough in caring, inserting, and removing of their lenses. The wearing of contact lenses, should not be based on a child's age, rather, it should be on the level of security and readiness to take on a responsibility.

The ability of contact lenses to increase a child's self-esteem can be very dramatic. Kids who wear eyeglasses at a young age can sometimes make them feel inferior and are oftentimes fall victims of school bullies. Because they do not like the way they look with their glasses on, some kids would sometimes sacrifice wearing them for the sake of not being bullied so they perform poorly in school activities. But when these kids are fitted with contact lenses, they become more confident and shows dramatic increase in their school performance. They also become more active in classroom discussions including sports activities.

Although, contact lens can offer a large advantage among children, parents should not push the issue of letting their kids wear them right away. Parents should learn to wait for their children to assume responsibility. Their readiness for contacts is a sign of security. Once the child agreements with the idea of ​​wearing contacts, it is important to take your child to your local Austin eye doctor for lens fitting and vital eye care instructions to avoid future complications.

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Important Information To Know About Contacts

Contacts are lenses placed on the eye. They can be for corrective, therapeutic or cosmetic purposes. It is estimated that 125 million people use contacts worldwide.

Leonardo da Vinci is often credited with the first idea of ​​these lenses. Around 1508, he began describing and sketching these ideas, which were originally printed in the Codex of the Eye, Manual D. In 1801, Thomas Young came up with liquid-filled eyecups. Nearly 80 years later FE Muller, a glassblower, produced an eye covering that was tolerable and see through. Inventions by Adolf Gatson, Eugen Fick and Louis J. Girard were similar in structure and more functional than previous eyecups. Not until 1949 would the first corneal contact be developed. Since that time they have steadily evolved.

Corrective contacts improve vision. They are able to focus light on the retina, therefore correcting focus. Generally these contact correct: near or shortsightedness, far or long sightedness, presbyopia and astigmatism. Lenses that are red-tinted can allow colorblind people to distinguish colors better, though it can not restore normal color vision.

Cosmetic contacts change the appearance of eyes. They can also change the vision. Sometimes called decorative lenses, theses lenses can change eye color and make eyes appear aroused, lifeless, cloudy and demonic. Cosmetic lenses are often utilized in theater or movie productions.

Non-refractive conditions, such as keratitis, corneal edema, ulcers and erosis, bullous keratopathy and descemetocele can be aided with the therapeutic lenses. They can also help with dry eyes. Some therapeutic lenses deliver medicine to troubled areas of the eye. Bandage contacts can protect the eyes. They keep patients from rubbing eyes that have an injured or diseased cornea. Without the constant eye rubbing, the cornea can heal faster.

Lenses used to be made from glass. That material was irritating to the eyes and those lenses were usually not tolerable for more than a couple of hours. Silicone hydrogels is the material used in most contact production today. It is preferred because it is flexible, comfortable, long lasting and oxygen permeable.

A doctor will usually prescribe contacts for a patient. They will also show the patient how to take care of and insert the lenses into the eye. There are daily and extended wear lenses. Daily lenses should be taken out before sleeping. Extended lenses can stay in overnight and for approximately a weak. They are convenient, but can also bring increased risk of eye-conditions developing in the cornea. Before inserting the lens, an individual should thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water and their lenses with proper solution. The lenses should be cleaned and replaced as often as your eye doctor recommends.

Complications can develop if the lenses are not maintained. Ptosis can develop in the eyelid. Superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis and giant papillary conjunctivitis affect the conjunctiva. The cornea can be disrupted by epithelium. Problems can arise in various structures of the eye. If these issues are not properly treated, they can lead to more serious problems. At the first signs of problems, contact your eye doctor. Most of these conditions can heal quickly if they are done early on.

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Eye Allergies

Eyes red or itching? Suffering from seasonal allergies? If you're like me, you fled to your local drug store this weekend to stock up on allergy medicine, and found many of the shelves empty. Did you know between 30-50% of Americans suffer from allergies? Moreover, 75% of those allergies affect the eyes! That's a lot of red, itchy, watery eyes in this country.

What causes them? Most allergies are airborne, and that's where they come in contact with your eyes and nose. They are triggered by particles from substances like pollen, ragweed, mold, dust, and pet dander. Some other causes include reactions to preservatives in lubricating eye drops, or from cosmetics. If your eye drops are irritating you, you may want to switch to a kind without preservatives.

Eye allergies are often hereditary, and they occur as a result of other allergic processes. For example, if your eyes are excessively watery as a result of allergies, it's because your body is releasing histamines. Those histamines are making your eyes water, not the allergen. Sometimes the reactions in your eyes are actually over-reactions. If a non-threatening substance gets into your eyes, your eyes can perceive it as harmful. For example: dust. Dust is reliably harmless in small amounts, but if a person is especially susceptible to eye irritation, he or she may experience major teething, mucous, itchiness, or redness. While that can be extremely annoying, it does not mean your vision is being affected.

Allergies can lead to other health problems, too. Specific to the eyes, your allergies can cause asthma symptoms to flare up or other major respiratory problems. That, in addition subconsciously scratching your nose and eyes back and forth can cause conjunctivitis, or pink eye.

We can not control the changes of the seasons and the allergies that come with them, so we have to avoid and treat. If you are affected by pollen, you can try to stay inside in the air conditioning on especially high pollen days. If you are going outside, you can wear wraparound sunglasses to keep pollen and other particles out of your eyes. Avoidance can be hard though, especially during the week when you have to be out and about, so you can treat your allergies with either prescription or over-the-counter treatments. Speak with your doctor to find out what's right for you. If your eyes are really suffering, eye drops with antihistamines may be best for you. Always consult your eye doctor before beginning to use medicated eye drops regularly.

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Astigmatism – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Astigmatism is a refractive eye disorder which causes blurred vision. It is a fairly common eye problem which can be corrected quite easily by using lenses or glasses or getting surgery. Normally, a person's cornea is perfectly spherical in shape. When light enters the cornea, it is refracted evenly in all directions and a focused image is formed on the retina. But when a person suffers from astigmatism, the shape of the cornea is distorted and so, a sharp focused image can not be formed. This results in hazy and blurred vision.

Causes of Astigmatism

In majority of cases, this disorder is hereditary ie it is passed on from one generation to the other. Besides that, it is also common in people who spend a lot of time working in the front of the computer or who sue their eyes for activities like embroidery which require constant precision. Additionally, incorrect posture can also result in increased pressure on the cornea, which would eventually distort its curvature.

Symptoms of Astigmatism

So, how do you know if you are actually suffering from this eye disorder? The most obvious symptom is obviously blurred and hazy vision. However, blurred vision is a common symptom for many other eye disorders. But if you are indeed suffering from astigmatism, the objects will remain unclear even when viewed from very close distances.

Other symptoms of astigmatism include constant headache, fatigue, dizziness, eye strain and the inability to concentrate on a particular object. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you must visit your ophthalmologist who will be able to diagnose the exact cause of these symptoms after running a few tests.

Treatment of Astigmatism

The treatment for this eye disorder depends on just how bad it is. In most cases, the degree of astigmatism is quite mild and can be easily easily with corrective lenses. There are specific types of lenses for treating astigmatism called toric lenses. Your optometrist will decide the ideal kind of toric lenses for you after running some basic tests.

In case of high degrees of astigmatism, you can also consider refractive surgery. This surgery corrects the curvature and shape or your cornea making as perfectly spherical. Once this is achieved, the images formed will be sharp and focused as light rays will refract properly inside the eye.

As technology has advanced, various other forms of surgeries and corrective measures have emerged. In case you are suffering from astigmatism or are experiencing any of its symptoms, you should definitely visit your optometrist and discuss the issue with him.

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Regular Eye Exam – What Does It Involve and What Does an Eye Exam Cost?

Even if you've never had an eye exam (and if you have not, you definitely should rush to your nearest ophthalmologist), you probably know some of the procedures – reading a chart of increasingly smaller alphabets kept at a distance, the eye doctor plugging in different powered lenses into a large, menacing looking apparatus. As a child, an eye exam filled me with a particular sense of dread and I do not think I've ever been over that.

So what exactly is an eye exam?

It is essentially a series of tests performed by an ophthalmologist, designed to ascertain a patient's ocular health status. These tests may range from determining the strength and health of eye sight (ie wherever you can see clearly without needing glasses), determining the power of your eyes (if you need glasses), testing for any common eye diseases, and checking for conditions such as color blindness, irregular curvature of the lens, etc.

An eye exam should be performed only by a trained ophthalmologist. An optometrist may also conduct an eye exam, but that would be limited to determining the power of your eye.

Regular eye exams are recommended by all doctors as most eye diseases are asymptomatic. Further, many serious illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, etc. may manifest themselves as ocular defects. Thus, they may help in diagnosing other serious diseases early, paving the path for easier treatment.

An eye test typically begins with an examination of the external features of the eyes, such as the eyelids, the cornea, sclera (the white part of the eye), etc. After that, the examination moves into a visual acuity test (ie a test of the eye's power and ability to focus on near and far objects – the test you are probably most familiar with).

The next test is a Pupil function test to determine the health of the pupil and detect any damage (physical, neurological etc.). After this, an eye exam may include a test of ocular motility (ie testing the eye's ability to follow quickly moving objects, usually carried out when patients complain of double vision), and a test of the visual field. There may be several other tests depending on your own ocular health.

Eye exam costs may differ from state to state and city to city. Typically, an eye exam may cost anything from $ 50 to $ 300 depending on the range of tests done. Costs may be even higher if a patient is found to be suffering from any serious ocular condition that requires extensive testing.

Many people tend to ignore regular eye tests, despite maintaining a healthy lifestyle and getting regular complete body check-ups. As I've said before in this article, these can often reveal the existence of far more serious medical conditions, so it is imperative for the sake of your eyes as well as your body to get under regular eye exams.

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Pterygium – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Pterygium, sometimes also called “Surfer's Eye”, is benign growth of the conjunctiva. For those of you without MDs, conjunctiva is a clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye (ie, the sclera) and forms the inner lining of the eyelids. Pterygium is common among those who spend a great deal of time in the sun without any protective gear (ie sunglasses). It typically develops from the side of the nose towards the opposite corner of the eye.

Symptoms of Pterygium

In early stages, this eye disease can lead to frequent irritation in the eyes, redness, soreness, and a constant feeling of a foreign body present in the eyes. In some cases, it may even cause bleeding of the eyes. In advanced stages, Pterygium can obscure vision and potentially lead to scarring of the cornea – a serious condition that can cause astigmatism and long term loss of vision.

Pterygium is difficult to detect in the early stages because the symptoms are often low intensity and are overlooked by patients. Further, since this eye disease is found primarily among those who spend long hours outdoors, its early symptoms can easily be confused with a host of common eye problems, including simple infections or just simple eye strain. More often than not, this disease is detected only much later when it is already in the advanced stages, increasing the chances of degeneration into more serious eye problems.

Causes of Pterygium

Pterygium is common among those who spend long hours in the sun without any protective gear (hence the colloquial name: surfer's eye). Thus, it is commonly associated with extended exposure to UV rays or excess wind (which can lead to dryness and itching). Suffers, water-sports enthusiasts, and snow-boarders / skiers tend to suffer from this disease as they are often exposed to harmful UV radiation that is amplified and reflected by the water / snow surface.

Prevention of Pterygium is as easy as wearing a pair of sunglasses when outside, and using artificial tear drops to keep the eyes well lubricated.

Treatment of Pterygium

In the early stages, this eye disease can be cured through administration of artificial eye drops alone. Preventive measures indicated above are usually very effective. A permanent cure without resorting to surgery in advanced stages, however, is unforthcoming. Even surgery requires extensive post-operation care, and the disease may manifest itself after a period of time.

As of now, a variety of treatments options are available to cure Pterygium, ranging from glue and suture application to irradiation and even membrane transplant. However, as mentioned above, the only fool-proof treatment method available to advanced stage patients is surgery, which itself may not be 100% effective.

Pterygium is an eye disease that can be very easily avoided. Curing it is easy in early stages, but that may only provide symptomatic relief. It is best to wear protective eye gear and avoid the occurrence of this disease altogether.

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LASIK Surgery – What Is It, and How Can It Benefit You?

LASIK is one of the most popular surgical procedures used to correct refractive errors in the eye. It is used to treat ocular conditions such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. It is a non-invasive procedure that is carried out using a laser by a trained eye surgeon (ophthalmologist). Since it is non-invasive, it gives very quick results, is safer, and also leads to faster recovery among patients.

LASIK is largely opted for by those suffering from common vision problems such as the ones mentioned above. It is typically recommended for patients with severe vision problems – that is, those who are compelled to wear high power glasses or lenses. After LASIK, most patients would not need to wear any eye gear, though patients with very high power may still need to wear glasses / lenses.

Prior to a LASIK surgery, a patient is required to wear special soft contact lenses for a period of 2 to 4 weeks. After this, the ophthalmologist would examine the patient's corneas and map the curvature and surface contour. Before the surgery, the patient might be administrated an antibiotic to reduce the chances of any infection.

LASIK surgery is usually performed with the patient fully awake. An anesthetic eye drop is administrated but the patient is typically fully mobile and cognizant of the operation. Since LASIK is an outpatient procedure, the patient can be discharged almost immediately after the surgery.

However, there can be several complications post LASIK if proper post-operative care instructions are not followed. The patient is typically advised to sleep a couple of hours extra every day for a few weeks after the operation. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication is also prescribed for at least three weeks post-surgery. In many cases, the patient may also be required to wear special glasses to prevent itching / scratching of the eyes during sleep. Failure to follow these care instructions can lead to several complications. In fact, most cases of failure with respect to LASIK usually happened due to the patient's neglect post-operation.

Common complications involving laser surgery are surgery induced dry eyes (since most post-operative care procedures involve administration of tear drops for a period of 4 weeks), overcorrection or under correction, light sensitivity, double images, etc. Since the patient is advised not to vent out into the sun, it may also lead to Vitamin D deficiency, further intensified by light sensitivity post-operation.

LASIK surgery has become the most popular refractive surgical procedure all across the world. In the US, patients report 92-98% success rate. One study put the satisfaction rate among patients at 95.4%.

LASIK surgery cost is another reason for its popularity. In some countries like India, LASIK surgery cost can be as low as $ 400-500. The cost is quite a bit more in the US – it can come down to anywhere from $ 1800- $ 3000. LASIK is recommended only for patients above 18 years, although most doctors advise that younger patients should opt for LASIK only if their power has stabilized.

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Keratoconus – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

The word “Keratoconus” comes from the Greek 'kerato', which means horn or cornea, and 'konos', which means cone. Keratoconus is an eye disease in which the cornea, which is naturally round in shape, degenerates and bulges into a pointed, cone shape. Because of this altered shape, the light entering the eye gets deflected, leading to confused, distorted vision.

Symptoms of Keratoconus

In most cases, Keratoconus occurs periodically over time, usually occurring after mid-20s. Because of its slow development rate, detection of this eye disease becomes quite difficult. In this disease, the shape of the eye disintegrates from the natural round shape, which causes periodic loss of near field vision along with irregular astigmatism. Light sensitivity may also occur in many cases, though the most common symptom is nearsightedness and distorted vision.

If you already use glasses, you may find your eye power changing rapidly – increasing or decreasing every time you visit the optometrist for a regular eye check-up. However, in most cases, these changes are quite subtle and an untrained ophthalmologist may not be able to detect the early symptoms of Keratoconus.

Causes of Keratoconus

Earlier, it was thought that this eye disease occurs due to injuries or other external factors. However, new research has shown that one of the primary causes of Keratoconus is an imbalance of enzymes within the cornea. Because of this imbalance, the cornea may get damaged from free radicals – a compound that is present in the air. This damage can cause the cornea to get distorted and bulge out, leading to the conical shape.

Most cases of this eye disease are genetic in nature. If your family has a history of this disease, chances are, you may have it too. Other less prominent causes include overexposure to the sun, rubbing eyes excessively due to chronic eye irritation, or poorly fitted contact lenses.

Treatment of Keratoconus

Keratoconus can be difficult to treat, especially in more advanced stages. In early stages, it can be cured by wearing soft lenses. However, in more advanced stages, such measures are inadequate and a patient may be required to wear rigid gas permeable lenses (RGP lenses). Fitting these lenses can be quite difficult and cause a great deal of discomfort to the eyes. Many times, eye care practitioners bypass this difficulty by “piggybacking” a RGP lens over a soft contact lens placed over the eye. The RGP lens fits over the cornea and smoothens it out, erasing any problems created by the bulging shape.

It is best to consult a trained eye doctor regarding treatment for Keratoconus. Depending on the extent of the disease, your ophthalmologist may prescribe different treatment measures, ranging from soft lenses to RGP and hybrid lenses. In almost all cases, Keratoconus is curable and your eyesight will not suffer in the long term.

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